LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Police Department will be holding Pedestrian Crosswalk Safety and Enforcement Operation on Thursday, March 9 at the intersection crosswalk of Woodley Avenue and Gault Street. According to a press release from the LAPD, the event will implement new pedestrian safety laws in Los Angeles that will be “aggressively” enforced.

California safety laws require drivers to yield to pedestrians within crosswalks whether they are marked or unmarked. Those who are found in violation will be cited by officers.

In 2016, 33 fatalities were reported in the San Fernando Valley. In 2017, there have been a total of 11 fatalities. LAPD officials reported that the number of deaths in the first two months has surpassed the number of fatalities in the first two months of 2016 by 450 percent.

Deputy Chief Bob Green, the Commanding Officer of Operations-Valley Bureau, will be in
plainclothes, crossing the street, monitoring if vehicles slow down and yield the right
of way to the pedestrian.

Officers will be on the lookout at high volume intersections in the area for cars not yielding to pedestrians as well as pedestrians not crossing legally or in an unsafe manner.

The Valley Traffic Division issued the following safety instructions to pedestrians:

  • Don’t text while crossing the street. Keep your head up.
  • Watch for turning vehicles and make sure the driver sees you before stepping out in
    front of a vehicle.
  • Just because one vehicle stops, do not assume other drivers will stop; visually
    clear each lane before you proceed.
  • Wear bright/light colored clothing and walk in well lighted areas at night.
  • Be alert to the traffic – constantly look both ways as you cross the street.

They also provided the following instructions for drivers:

  • Slow down and scan the road ahead for pedestrians.
  • Do not drive distracted.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks whether marked or unmarked.
  • Watch for pedestrians stepping off the curb when making right or left turns.
  • Obey the speed limits and slow down.

In addition to Green, Commander Kris Pitcher (Operations Valley Bureau), Captain Beverly Lewis (Valley Traffic Division), the Senior Transportation Engineer, Valley District, and Valley Traffic Division Motorcycle Officers will be in attendance.

Canyon News spoke with Officer Drake Madison of the LAPD who was unable to disclose further information on the event.